Monday, January 31

RevenueSA - part 2

Two weeks on and still no reply from RevenueSA.

Not even an acknowledgement of receipt of the letter that was posted on 18th January.
Not that’s its in breach of their Service Charter which is as lame as the organisation is beginning to appear.

Customer service charter
(AKA Pathetic whining excuse for expecting almost immediate payment without the capacity to offer any real service soon)

RevenueSA aims to provide you with a service, which is efficient and responsive and will ensure that your privacy and confidentially is respected.

In responding to enquiries during the period from October to February each year, it should be recognised that RevenueSA experiences a major increase in workload with relation to land tax.

Over 110,000 Notices will be issued during this period and based on previous experience, delays can be experienced. However, as many as possible of our staff will be dedicated to addressing customer enquiries and will strive, at all times, to respond to your queries in the shortest possible time.

If the tax is not paid within 60 days of the assessment date (the assessment notice is undated and specified only a due date of 14 February), I will be charged penalties and interest.

However, even if appealing the bill I ‘should’ pay the amount before the due date and if successful expect a refund. Funny there’s no mention of reimbursement of interest owed in my case.

ABC News

And how much does the new backdrop and theme music suck hairy ones?

Reading the weather forecast is probably okay, providing you are sitting close to a plasma tv the size of a delivery truck.

This is not one of those hoax tsunami stories

After miraculously managing to stay afloat for days, a woman was
found safe and sound and in remarkably good condition.

I love good news stories like this.

In fact she probably finds it easier to swim than walk. She's not posing - just resting and getting her balance.

Some email that I don’t mind

This received today:

I understand that scissors can beat paper, and I get how rock can beat scissors, but there's no f*%$ing way paper can beat rock.
Paper is supposed to magically "wrap around" rock, rendering it immobile?
Why the hell can't paper do this to scissors?
Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class?
A rock would tear that sh*t up in 2 seconds.
When I play rock/paper/scissors, I always choose rock.
Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper, I punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, "Oh sh*t, I'm sorry. I thought paper would protect you"


I must have seen 20 urgent Netware messages today telling me the work server was nearly full and about to die. And while MSN offers its US Hotmail customers 150MB of mailbox space, I struggle with my 20MB to keep up with the onslaught of pointless and time wasting crap. And then there’s this:

“This message has been authorised by Sue Vardon, Chief Executive Department for Families and Communities”

The Premier's Women's Directory is an important initiative instigated by the Premier's Council for Women. The Directory provides a pro-active response to the targets set within the South Australian Strategic Plan which commits the State Government to ensuring that the number of women represented on Government Boards and Committees is increased to 50% by next year and that 50% of Government Boards and Committees are chaired by women by 2008.

The Premier's Council for Women encourages all women within the Public Sector who feel they can contribute high level skills to relevant Boards and Committees to contact the Office for Women.

The We Want It All Brigade have been busy. Be warned, visiting this site might just push any you over the edge. Apparently they have the exclusive licence of being the only ones to have ever been overlooked for executive and boardroom positions.

Sunday, January 30

[sound of crickets chirping]

Sure is quiet around these parts.
Where have all the good RWDBs gone?

What a funny pastime - blogging.
It takes a serious investment in time to run a real good blog (so I've heard anyway). The reward is the following, the occasional comment, some recognition from someone out there who has 'listened'.

Whether it’s a social, therapeutic, or whatever; there’s no real return for the effort. There’s no indemnity either, not even with anonymity.

Read enough of them and there’ll be plenty of examples how authors have paid dearly. Marriages and jobs top the list. Others have seen the light, reprioritised and pulled the plug on their blogs before its too late.

Imagine the blood sweat and tears that have gone into so many posts. It’s all too easy to take them for granted. That is, until they’re gone.

Tuesday, January 25

A little bit Aussie

Some time back I ended up with one of my mum’s scrapbooks of recipes. The folder is falling to pieces and the gum that once held the cut out recipes in place has long ago turned to a crisp brown resin.

Few of the recipes are likely to be revived especially the likes of sardine quiche and honey pumpkin scones. The secret ingredient to a lot of these delights seems to be a tablespoon of sweet sherry.

Anyway while flicking through I noticed many of the recipes share pages with the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Home Hints’ competition. Depending on the time, readers could win somewhere from 1 pound to $15

I’m not sure if the passage of time has changed the way we look at things or whether reader’s suggestions for helpful tips about the house were just as off-beat back then.

Anyway, Ill be copying James Lileks and posting these gems from time to time for all to enjoy.

Here’s a few to wet you appetite:

G Cromarty, Dubbo, NSW won $15 in Sept 1981 for this
WHEN your roll-on deodorant seems to be empty, leave it standing upside down and you’ll be able to use is many more times.

M Jansen, Parkes, NSW also won $15 in the same issue for
IF you have a jumper which makes you itchy, put it in the refrigerator overnight and it will no longer irritate your skin.

E Ezzy of Richmond, NSW won $2 for
SAVE empty hair cream or hand cream jars for storing nails. Don’t wash them as the grease will prevent nails rusting.

We are one

We are the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional w#nker. We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand), and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to b#tch and moan about it whenever we bloody like. We are One Nation but divided into many States.

First, there's Victoria, named after queen who didn't believe in lesbos. Victoria's the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand final day, and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that "it's livable". At least that's what they think.
The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.

Next, there's NSW, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital Sydney has more queens than any other city in the world and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers that pull their Speedos up their
cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.

Down south we have Tasmania, a State based on the notion that the Family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can't seem to beat no matter how often they try.

South Australia is the province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively reuse country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They
had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.

Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. It's main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving because if it did, all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts and many of them still work
there in the government and business.

The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centrepiece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest prefer to fly
over it on our way to Bali.

And there's Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a
document defining a nation of half arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland, as it's beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.

Oh yes and there's Canberra. The less said the better.

We, the citizens of Oz, are united by Highways, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than murderers. We are united in our lust for international recognition, so desperate for praise we leap in joy when a rag tag gaggle of corrupt IOC officials tells us Sydney is better than Beijing.

We are united by a democracy so flawed that a political party albeit a redneck gun toting one, can get a million votes and still not win one seat in Federal Parliament. Not that we're whingeing, we leave that to our Pommy immigrants. We want to make "no worries mate" our national phrase, "she'll be right mate" our national attitude and "Waltzing Matilda" our national anthem (so what if it's about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide).

We love sport so much our newsreaders can read the death toll from sailing race and still tell us who's winning. And we're the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, swimming, netball, rugby league and union, AFL, roo shooting, two up and horse racing. We
also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, and the worst dressed Olympians in the known universe.

Only in Australia can a pizza delivery get to your house faster than an ambulance. Only in Australia do we have bank doors wide open, no security guards, or cameras but chain the pens to the desk.

Stand proud Aussies - we shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime. Even though we might seem a racist, closed minded, sports obsessed little people, at least we feel better for it.

I am, you are, we are Australian!

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY for January 26, 2005.

Sunday, January 23

Holy crap!

GrinderCom was linked last night by a man who's site is about to tick over 1.5M visits.

Regulars will know - I am not worthy of such fortune.

And there is a link or two worth visiting from Acidman's site too.

And while I'm in the mood...

Here's one for the gun nuts.

More sneaky pics

Nothing in the order of 'Navel Gazing'...

Veteran blogger Tex is caught visitingAdelaide to test the latest from Mitsubishi as the struggling manufacturer seeks a new market direction.

Saturday, January 22

They just don’t get it do they?

Example 1 – Today’s Weekend Australian, Page 1
Kevin Rudd said he had not encountered any pressure to leave the field open for Mr Beazely in order to allow the former leader to be elected unopposed and unify the shattered Labor Party.

The answer to their unity problem smacks these guys in the face and they cast it aside in preference to more factional folly.

Example 2 – Weekend Australian, Page 5
The Australian Conservation Foundation said the deal (to store nuclear fuel with the US) did nothing to minimise the risk on storing large amounts of nuclear waste at Lucas Heights…

Well maybe we’d have such an option if the construction of a safe nuclear facility within Australia was given support by these flaming hypocrites!

Tuesday, January 18

Time to spare?

Then how about a spot of Navel Gazing

Prince Harry

Harry's New Party Outfit

Harry's new toy

Nice people don’t nominate

The whole saga of Mark Latham’s silence during his recent illness has highlighted how thoughtless and insensitive the game of politics really is.

Firstly Latham ‘disappeared’ and was noticeably absent when everyone else was jumping on the Tsunami bandwagon.

Reluctantly a press release was made acknowledging his tardiness and advising of his illness that was best treated with rest until a return to work on January 26th.

Then as criticism and speculation mounted, witnesses were found to suggest maybe he wasn’t really that sick.

Again no spin from Latham, nothing from his advisors, only anxious comments from state labour premiers nervous about Labor’s bad press. Meanwhile not realising their own appearances were damaging what veneer of unity the left might have had.

And still no comment from Latham.

Meanwhile, parliament is still on summer break and with a deputy opposition leader duly acting in Latham’s spot there was no real reason for him to come forward.

Between the lines there were only two explanations; He’s lost his marbles or he was seriously ill.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t especially like the guy or what he stands for. I do however think he should have been giving an opportunity to recover and allowed to determine his future under better terms.

Within an hour of his announcement there were candidates ready with their hands up nominating for the job. The Labor party should be ashamed of itself.

Monday, January 17

Mail Fraud – Part 1

Today the Grinder household received a Notice of Land Tax Assessment requiring payment of a quick $115 for owning the family residence. The assessment notice was in the pile of bills to pay which Mrs G had put aside during the after work/school pre-dinner frenzy.

Since becoming a homeowner I’ve lost track of the new levies, tariffs and duties that supplement the more traditional rates and utilities payable by homeowners. These days with so many department name changes and environmental causes to pay penance for, this latest tax bill was nearly paid without question.

The notice is undated, impersonal and lacks any type of personal address, let alone an explanation. Other than a government logo, there is no office address anywhere on the four-page double-sided document. Other than a ‘Site Value’ of $83,000 there is no mention of why this tax should all of a sudden apply to this household.

Stay tuned as RevenueSA (yes that’s their real name), are given an opportunity to help me understand why this assessment was generated and sent without explanation.

Sunday, January 9

Inbox clean up

Here's some goodness I never found the time or reason to post:

Monitor cleaner

Saturday, January 8

Beloved Engrish

Without modification from the packaging of an imported Towing Rope:

* This is a nice tow rope with a special processing procedure. It can absorb towing jerks and reduce the vibration of two cars to the lowest during towing.

* The fluorscent color makes it safer while being used at night.

* The forged hook with safety latch can prevent it from falling off the car and make it easier to take off or put on.

* It can help to tow your beloved car away from the place where t breaks down.

I used to work with someone who wrote like this. Only she was Australian born of English parents!

Thursday, January 6

A $556 (good) day.

Thanks to some good intel, a replacement control unit for the Grinders family sedan has been sourced from the local self-service wrecker. A good friend saw an identical model on its way in and thought to call me and let me know before the vultures could move in. The $44 pricetag was far more appealing than the $600 alternative.

I think the concept for self-serve wreckers came as someone was driving along a highway somewhere and saw car body stripped bare on the roadside. "If only I could make money from this!"

Offering parts at a reduced price on the condition that customers; put themselves at risk, use their own tools, go look and see if the parts are available and perform their own rudimentary quality testing in the sun/wind/rain. Oh, and pay a non-refundable admission fee.

Its taken me several years to refine the mental checklist that helps make the trip less traumatic. I am happy to share this with other tight-fisted autofiles:

* Park away from the yard - for some reason there are a lot of loose screws and sharp pieces of metal around just waiting for a fully treaded tyre to pass by.
* Sunscreen / wet weather gear - you wont need it if you bring it.
* Fly repellent - I don't know why there are so many flies, its just a yard full of metal and plastic
* Complete toolkit - just because a bolt is size 10 on your 1991 TR magna widget housing doesn't mean it will be the same on identical models in the yard.
* Correct change - unless you really want to try your luck asking for change from the life form behind the welded grate in the modified shipping container that looks like it could be an office.
* Can of RP7 - the handyman's blow torch, a useful way to annihilate spider nests when lit with a match (rumoured to be good for loosening seized parts as well)
* Matches - see RP7 above.
* Rag - to remove the larger chunks of grease from hands and shoes before they become a permanent reminder that you had to take the good car to the wreckers.
* A container of some sort to carry and store the said part - unless you'd like oil stains in the passenger-side foot well to match the grease stained sun visor/consol/door trim.

Advance notice of sitework

While Al confesses to reading the Canberra Times, I have no such weaknesses (reading is for wimps).
But I happen to know someone who knows someone who was watching channel nine tonight and learnt that blogging has found its way on to Judging Amy! Arrrgghhh. In tonight’s episode the loser fat chick has her own blog. And she got 76 hits a day.
Something’s wrong in the www. I’m changing my site meter. Hmmph.